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Berlin vs. Ho Chi Minh City – how does interiors style differ?

Buster + Punch interviewed fashion accessories entrepreneur Julia Doan about the differences in interiors style in between Ho Chi Minh City and her former home, Berlin. Buster + Punch is a huge fan of Julia’s style and monochrome aesthetic. Julia runs Floral Punk, which is ‘one of Vietnam’s most preferred fashion accessories brand’, from her office in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Tell us a bit about your apartment, your office and the location of both?

I am currently living in Saigon, or Ho Chi Minh City, which is the current official name. My apartment is located in the new Thu Thiem area right across from District 1, which is still rather empty. I chose this location because I recently had a baby and didn’t want to live in a area which is too busy. My office right now is right above our store, in the more populated heart of the city, District 1. 

How does Berlin and Ho Chi Minh City style differ?

Oh this is a difficult one. Vietnam has a very recent history of war and poverty. That reflects in the average Vietnamese household. The older generation doesn’t care about aesthetics that much. Minimalism is something that doesn’t even make sense. The more you own, the better. Even though you never use it, you could need it at some point. In my generation, people start to care more about personal style and interior, as an extension of personal style. The most popular styles are probably fancy/luxury, industrial or vintage. Simplicity is something that would be easier to find in Berlin. 

How would you describe your interiors style?

 My interior style is a mix of materials and colors I love. Black, White, natural colours, marble and iron. I’m also heavily influenced by Scandinavian and Korean lifestyle and interior styles.

Do you have any interiors styling tips?

It’s all in the details. If you want one of those Pinterest homes, you need to make sure that you care about every little detail in your home no matter how small, such as a bottle opener or your laundry detergent. If the details look good, the whole picture will look good as well. 

Has moving to Ho Chi Minh City influenced the way you’ve renovated your apartment?

If anything, moving to Ho Chi Minh city has elevated my sense of interiors a lot. It was hard to find plain black furniture that is decent quality and not overly expensive. I had to spend a lot of time searching for the rights products because there is such a lack of variety compared to Germany. You need to know exactly what u want and then get things made. That gives you a lot of freedom for creation but can be tiring and time-consuming as well. 

Have you noticed any emerging interiors trends in Vietnam this year?

There are two styles young Vietnamese are doing a lot. Heritage-based vintage style and that luxury princess style haha.

What Buster + Punch products have you used in your home?

I currently have used two handles on my drawer, but still have toggle switches, plug sockets, door handles and more handles I haven’t used yet. I’m planning to incorporate those into my new apartment which I bought. You are not allowed to exchange those parts in a rented apartment.